6 min read
Collaboration is a critical part of your business. Not only do your team members need to work together on their tasks, but collaboration also helps improve innovation, enhance connection, and keep your company at the top of your industry. In the past two years, many companies have taken a hard look at how they can collaborate more efficiently, whether their workers are in the office or on the go.
Do you want to enhance collaboration throughout your organization? Try these key strategies to build better internal collaboration.
Tip #1: Make the Right Investment
The platform you use for collaboration in your company is a critical investment. If you invest in the wrong platform, you could find your team members struggling to communicate and collaborate more than ever before.
Is your program clunky, outdated, and difficult to learn how to use? Does it have a steep learning curve?
Do your team members have to look in multiple locations for the documents, messages, and information they need to complete a project, often leaving them struggling to find time to actually complete the “collaboration” part of a session?
If those challenges ring true in your workplace, it may be time to upgrade to a new communication solution. You need a platform that is intuitive, simple to use, and keeps all the information you need in one location, where employees can easily access it when they need it. Furthermore, you want your communication platform to make it easy to organize and sort through your content. If you’ve made a poor investment into your communication in the past, now is the perfect time to make a new investment into a platform that is more likely to work for you.
Tip #2: Remove Any Barriers of Communication
Communication barriers can stop collaboration in its tracks across your organization.
Challenges with Organizational Structure
Sometimes, the structure of your organization can make it difficult for people to communicate and collaborate. They may, for example, have a hard time determining when–or even if–they are to communicate with their management teams, or where they need to go to get answers to critical questions. Employees may not feel comfortable going to their managers with minor questions or suggestions, especially if there are substantial barriers in place that interfere with that critical communication.
Language barriers can pose immense communication barriers in some organizations. If you have employees who speak multiple languages, or for whom English is not their first language, you may have a hard time getting around those barriers. With a platform like Pronto, on the other hand, you can count on effective, instant translation which can enhance collaboration and communication for employees no matter where they are.
Overall Lack of Accessibility
75% of workers feel that their relationship with their boss is one of the most stressful things they have to deal with at work. Many managers simply are not accessible to their employees. Workers feel that they are aloof and inaccessible, which means that those workers are unwilling to ask questions, share solutions, or deal with problems proactively. With the right communication platform, on the other hand, workers will find that it’s much easier to connect with their management team and with other employees. As a result, they feel like more valued members of the team–and are more willing to engage and collaborate.
Tip #3: Connect Your Whole Team
One of the biggest problems with collaboration is the inability to connect your entire team. Your team members may be working from a variety of time zones or trying to work from multiple locations. You may have remote team members, team members whose job duties usually keep them in the field, and employees who are working directly in the office.
It can be extremely difficult to bring those diverse employees together for collaborative efforts, especially if your employees have conflicting schedules–from different time zones to different demands on their time while in the field–that can make it very difficult to enhance collaboration on their projects. With the right tools, however, you can improve employees’ ability to connect no matter where they are.
Encourage Asynchronous Communication
Collaboration does not rely on real-time communication. In fact, in many cases, asynchronous communication can prove more valuable to your team, especially when team members are on the go. Employee chat options that will allow employees to contribute as they are able, including an ongoing chat about your projects. Separate team members into groups where they can work together on their projects without having to clock in at the same time. Often, those communication options can make it easier for each member of the team to participate.
Allow Video Chats and Meetings
Connecting face-to-face is often a critical part of your collaboration efforts. There’s something about seeing someone’s face that creates a much deeper sense of connection than words on a screen alone. If you have a scattered workforce, it can be difficult to bring in those vital face-to-face communications–until you utilize a video chat platform that can help bring your team members together. From one-on-one video chats that allow individual team members to connect with one another to larger video meetings that help make everyone feel like an integrated part of the team, video conference options can improve connection and the ability to collaborate as a team.
Tip #4: Eliminate Judgment from Your Collaboration Efforts
Creating a safe space for communication is one of the best things you can do for overall collaboration across your company. When team members feel judged, they may feel more reluctant to share future ideas or to step into an active collaboration with their teammates. Judgment and intimidation can interfere with your overall collaborative efforts and make it difficult, if not impossible, for the members of your team to come together.
Implement a culture that embraces creativity and takes advantage of the contributions of all of your team members. Pronto makes it easy to keep up with what team members are doing and how they’re communicating with one another. Moderators in your groups can track overall communication between team members, which can make it easier to crack down on any examples of judgment and encourage continued collaboration for the members of your team.
You can also:
- Keep guidelines minimal. Encourage team members to communicate freely, even when their ideas might not make sense. Maintain creative freedom as much as possible, since those creative freedoms can enable team members to innovate and problem-solve more effectively.
- Take employee contributions and suggestions into account. The best way to encourage more collaboration and creativity is to show employees that their contributions are valued and can become a better part of the company structure.
- React quickly to encourage collaboration over division and judgment.
As you work to eliminate that atmosphere of judgment in your workplace, you will find that your employees are better prepared to collaborate on multiple levels–and are, in general, much more supportive of one another.
Tip #5: Offer Opportunities for Connection Outside Projects and Meetings
One of the critical tools to collaboration is ensuring a sense of connection between the members of your team. Team members who do not feel connected will struggle to collaborate, especially if they feel poorly informed about the other members of the team or the responsibilities that are expected of them.
Fortunately, Pronto is not just designed for communication and collaboration on projects. It also allows communication opportunities that will enhance that sense of connection between your team members, preparing them for better overall collaboration when they come together to work on projects.
Create Breakout Discussions
Allow off-topic conversations and threads where people can explore their unique interests and develop deeper connections with the members of their team. Consider creating groups where team members can chat about their hobbies and plans. Those off-topic discussions do not have to serve as a distraction from regular work tasks, but rather should allow the members of your team to develop a deeper understanding of one another that can offer immense benefit when they are ready to work on a project together.
Host Social Times
Virtual meetings don’t have to be all about work. As part of your effort toward improving collaboration, consider hosting virtual Happy Hour events, bringing team members together for a game, or encouraging them to get together a couple of times a week to chat. The same face-to-face meetings that improve virtual communication and collaboration can also help set your team members up for success as they host virtual social time.
Enhancing collaboration throughout your company is an ongoing process. When you move new team members in, start a new project, or feel a general lack of connection over time, taking these steps can help improve internal collaboration and ensure that your team members have the tools on hand that they need. Pronto is one of the most valuable tools you can put in your employees’ arsenal. With Pronto, you can make it easier than ever for them to communicate, collaborate, and connect. Contact us today for a demonstration of our platform and how it can benefit your organization.